Jets appear uninterested in ex-Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson
The DeSean Jackson sweepstakes are underway. But the Jets aren't in the running.
A source told Newsday Saturday that general manager John Idzik hasn't inquired about the free-agent receiver.
Less than a week ago, Jets owner Woody Johnson said the organization was interested in Jackson. Unlike other teams, however, the Jets appear to have pumped the brakes on acquiring the controversial wide receiver, who was cut Friday by the Eagles.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Eagles would be forced to cut Jackson if they couldn't secure a trade partner. The speedy receiver was scheduled to earn $10.25 million in base salary for the upcoming season and carried a $12.75-million salary-cap charge.
But the Eagles' stunning announcement came on the heels of an NJ.com report that said the Eagles were concerned that Jackson has ties to members of a Los Angeles street gang.
Nevertheless, nine NFL teams already have inquired about Jackson, according to ESPN. The Jets, however, remain on the sideline.
Jackson is coming off a career season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Since 2008 -- his first season in the NFL -- Jackson has more receiving touchdowns of at least 30 yards (21) than any other player.
His talent is undeniable, but his off-the-field behavior and diva reputation may be seen as red flags by some franchises, including the Jets. And with a deep NFL draft, Idzik instead might decide to target big-name college receivers such as Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham or Brandin Cooks.
Jackson took to social media to defend himself in light of what he termed "misleading and unfounded reports" regarding his release from the Eagles.
"I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang," he wrote in a statement. "I am not a gang member, and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible.
"I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made both on and off the field. I have worked tirelessly to give back to my community and have a positive impact on those in need. It is unfortunate that I now have to defend myself and my intentions. These reports are irresponsible and just not true. I look forward to working hard for my new team. God Bless."